\ ˈspərn How to pronounce spurn (audio) \
spurned; spurning; spurns

Definition of spurn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to reject with disdain or contempt : scorn
2 : to tread sharply or heavily upon : trample

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to reject something disdainfully
2 obsolete



Definition of spurn (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : disdainful rejection
b : contemptuous treatment
b obsolete : stumble

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Other Words from spurn


spurner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for spurn


decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn mean to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering. decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations. declined his party's nomination refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for. refused to lend them the money reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding. rejected the manuscript as unpublishable repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance. teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation. spurned his overtures of friendship

Examples of spurn in a Sentence

Verb fiercely independent, the elderly couple spurned all offers of financial help
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Imagine a novelist spurning Oprah’s Book Club the way Jonathan Franzen did in the fall of 2001. Malcolm Harris, The New Republic, "The Uneasy Promise of Life in Silicon Valley," 3 Feb. 2020 Having spurned the European project when it was born in the 1950s, the U.K. tried to join in the 1960s, with France vetoing its membership application twice. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Brexit Is Done: The U.K. Has Left the European Union," 31 Jan. 2020 But his sycophancy was sweetener to a snub: Britain is spurning President Donald Trump’s increasingly strident demands to reimpose sanctions on Iran, siding with European allies over America. The Economist, "Anglo-American relations Johnson, Trump and the future of the Atlantic alliance," 18 Jan. 2020 In Melbourne, close to 10,000 people took to the streets, spurning calls from officials not to divert emergency resources. Washington Post, "World Digest: Jan. 10, 2020," 10 Jan. 2020 Prater and Thomas played pee-wee football together a decade ago and spurned offers from power conference schools like Ohio State and LSU to play together again at Cincinnati. Charlie Goldsmith, Cincinnati.com, "Here's the UC Bearcats' haul from national signing day and what it means going forward," 18 Dec. 2019 That’s one win better than the Knicks, who have plunged deeper into irrelevance since Durant and Kyrie Irving spurned the chance to lead them to their first postseason since 2013. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Why Warriors-Knicks isn’t necessarily a ‘race to the bottom’," 11 Dec. 2019 The Trail Blazers are back in the business of winning games since adding veteran scorer Carmelo Anthony who has lit a fire under the roster and spurned Portland to several key wins since joining the team in late November. Tim Brown, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers ‘City’ jerseys, more cream-colored fan gear now available online, in stores," 3 Dec. 2019 In 2011, a pod adopted a deformed bottlenose dolphin, which had been spurned. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spurn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spurn


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 2a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for spurn


Middle English, from Old English spurnan; akin to Old High German spurnan to kick, Latin spernere to spurn, Greek spairein to quiver

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Time Traveler for spurn

Time Traveler

The first known use of spurn was before the 12th century

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Statistics for spurn

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spurn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spurned. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for spurn


How to pronounce spurn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spurn

literary : to refuse to accept (someone or something that you do not think deserves your respect, attention, affection, etc.)


\ ˈspərn How to pronounce spurn (audio) \
spurned; spurning

Kids Definition of spurn

: to reject with scorn He spurned the offer.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spurn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spurn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spurn

Spanish Central: Translation of spurn

Nglish: Translation of spurn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spurn for Arabic Speakers

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